As it continues to expand its payment services across Europe, Nets must accept and process millions of files from its clients every month. How can the company support these volumes 24/7?
Nets enhanced its existing IBM trading partner integration platform with IBM Sterling File Gateway — offering high levels of security, availability and scalability for internet-based file transfers.
Supportspeaks of over 1 million files per day, offering the scalability for business growth
Delivers24/7 availability for mission-critical trading partner communications
Enablescompliance with stringent regulatory requirements such as PCI DSS
Business challenge story
Riding a wave of digital payments growth
In economies across Europe, digital payments are beginning to overtake cash as consumers’ preferred payment method. Nets is one of Europe’s leading payment processors, and today the company handles billions of transactions annually.
Secure and timely communication with trading partners is crucial for Nets. The company works with more than 300,000 merchants, more than 240,000 enterprises and over 240 banks across the Nordic and Baltic regions. To maintain its industry-leading reputation as a payments processing hub — and create the headroom for continued growth — the company must ensure that its trading partner integration platform is always available.
Ove Kolstad, Technical Lead Manager for Managed File Transfer at Nets, explains: “We receive a huge number of files from our clients. On a typical day, we process around 100,000 files, but sometimes we experience daily peaks of more than a million files. Because most of these files contain time-sensitive payment information, it’s very important that our partners can communicate with us 24/7.”
Building on its success in Scandinavia, Nets set its sights on growth into other European markets. The company knew that file transfer volumes would continue to rise as it won new clients, and it needed to ensure that its B2B integration platform was ready for the increased demands. At the same time, Nets must keep pace with a fast-moving regulatory environment, and demonstrate its compliance with security standards such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the Revised Payment Service Directive (PSD2).
Kolstad comments: “To support the business, we’re continually looking for ways to enhance our approach to managed file transfer — and IBM has been our strategic partner in this area for more than three decades.”
Building a scalable, future-ready platform
Nets relies on IBM Sterling B2B Collaboration solutions to facilitate effective, dependable B2B integration. To exchange data between its partners’ core banking systems running on mainframe platforms, the company uses IBM Sterling Connect:Direct — a security-hardened solution for point-to-point file transfers.
“Our suite of IBM Sterling solutions enables us to meet practically any of our clients’ requirements around file transfer protocols and encryption standards,” says Kolstad. “We have been using IBM Sterling Connect:Direct for more than 30 years, and it continues to be an extremely reliable solution.”
As internet-based file transfer protocols grew in popularity, the company subsequently enhanced its environment with IBM Sterling B2B Integrator.
Kolstad continues: “As new protocols such as SFTP [Secure Shell File Transfer Protocol] started to become more popular in the payments industry during the 1990s, we chose IBM Sterling B2B Integrator to empower our clients to take advantage of them. Trust is very important in the payment business, and our customers need our gateway to be online 24/7, 365 days a year — and the IBM solution offered us exactly that. Crucially, it was straightforward to configure IBM Sterling B2B Integrator to comply with our requirements under PCI DSS.”
The volume and velocity of Nets’ file transfer requirements continue to grow. To transfer large files fast and at scale, the company has recently augmented its environment with IBM Sterling File Gateway — a security-rich edge-based file transfer platform.
“We are now in the process of migrating our file transfer clients in Denmark to IBM Sterling File Gateway, and some of our first user groups are now in production,” adds Kolstad. “We greatly value our partnership with IBM, and we know we can count on them to deliver timely support and technical guidance when we need it.”
Expanding the business into new markets
With scalable, secure and highly available data transfer solutions from IBM at the foundation of its payments business, Nets is in a strong position to continue to expand into markets across Europe.
“We have built an industry-leading reputation in the payments space, and IBM Sterling B2B Collaboration solutions have made a significant contribution to that success,” says Kolstad. “Our IBM solutions enable us to offer a comprehensive range of B2B integration options and to help ensure that they are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
He adds: “One of the principle reasons that we have built our B2B integration platform on IBM solutions is IBM’s commitment to development and innovation. We have now been using IBM Sterling B2B Integrator for 15 years, and in that time, we’ve always had the flexibility to adapt the platform in response to the changing demands of our business users and our trading partners.”
As it continues to grow, Nets aims to increase its use of automation to contain operational costs while maintaining high levels of service for its partners. The company is currently evaluating IBM Sterling Control Center to enable rules-based alerts for technical issues and reporting dashboards to monitor performance against service-level agreements.
“To deliver uninterrupted services to our clients, it’s vital that we identify and fix issues quickly — and as we grow, managing the platform efficiently is going to become more important than ever,” Kolstad concludes. “IBM offers us the robust B2B integration capabilities we need to keep millions of files flowing smoothly every month, and the scalability, flexibility and availability we need to continue our international growth.”
Headquartered in Ballerup, Denmark, Nets is one of the top payment processors in Europe, handling billions of transactions annually. Partnering with more than 300,000 merchants, including 30,000 online merchants, more than 240,000 enterprises and over 240 banks across the Nordic and Baltic regions, Nets aims to make it easy and intuitive for customers to handle digital payments and related services.